A total of 58 First Degree Knights (Brother Knights) of St. John International (KSJI) who scaled through the written and oral examinations organized for them on Saturday May 5, 2018 have been promoted to the second and third Degrees of the Noble Order. Four of them who scored 90 percent and above have equally bagged automatic elevation into the officer’s rank. Consequently, while other newly exemplified knights are now permitted to sew their Marching uniform in silver colour, the four who performed exceptionally well would sew theirs in gold colour. Two of them would henceforth wear the insignia of full Lieutenant, while the other two would go with that of a second Lieutenant of the KSJI (a Paramilitary Order).
The Grand First Vice President, Col (Prof.) Remy Uche, who represented the Grand President, Brig-Gen Anthony Enukeme, who announced this at the end of the examination, congratulated those who performed excellently well and stressed the need for local commanderies to do more catechesis and grooming on Catholic Doctrines for their members. He urged the new Sir Knights not to remain stagnant, but to continue to improve themselves by learning more about their faith, take the cardinal principles of– unity and Charity seriously.
Col Remy advised them to live exemplary life worthy of emulation which is capable of attracting new members to the Order. He had early advised them on the need to go to confession so as to be in the state of grace before presenting themselves for the Second/Third Degree exemplification.
The Grand Spiritual Director, Rev. Msgr. Anthony Njoku, who heard their confessions assisted by another priest, had equally advised them to ask God to give them the grace to be good knights who would lead well whenever called called upon to do so. “People who see your lifestyle should appreciate Catholic Knighthood,” he enjoined them.
Preaching the homily at the Eucharistic celebration, he explained that though it is the same spirit of God that every Christ’s faithful received unity in diversity requires serious commitment on our side in living the life of God.
Msgr. Njoku stated that the life of St. Joseph, the patron saint of Catholic Men Organization (CMO) defined the role and place of the fathers in the home. “The father is there to take care of the child and woman.” He recalled the way Joseph stood by Mary and Jesus when he was needed – The bible stated that he took Mary and child home, took Mary to Bethlehem for census where she delivered of Jesus. Joseph led the flight to Egypt, the presentation of Jesus in the temple as well as the finding of the missing Jesus in the temple. These, he said, are attributes fathers need to reflect on as they celebrate the 2018 Father’s Day coming up the following day. The monsignor advised the new Sir Knights to be up and doing in their local commanderies and parishes, assuring them that at each stage of their journey in the knighthood the church is accompanying them with prayer and blessings.
The highpoint of the ceremony was the calling out of the the new sir knights to the altar where the Immediate Past Grand President Brig-Gen (Prof) Ezekiel Ihionu read out their responsibilities and enjoined them to take spirituality, Discipline, Charity, and Fraternity seriously. With their hands across their chests, he read out the 2nd/3rd Degree pledge which they recited after him, followed by the Grand Spiritual Director blessing.
It would be recalled that the Supreme Subordinate Inspector General, Brig-Gen Eugene Emenalo before the examination delivered to the knights a lecture written by Brig-Gen Godwin Shiweobi, former Grand President. The lecture covered: the aims and objectives of KSJI, classes of membership, Emblem of the Order, and the various degrees. The Grand Secretary, Col CEJ Ibe was handy throughout the ceremony to ensure that logistics yielded optimum results as directed by the Grand President. Noble Emenalo led the Degree Team which supervised the examination. He was assisted by Noble Col Peter Opara, Noble Col Cele Ozuzu, the Chavelir Grand Master,Grand First Vice President, Col Remy Uche, Grand Second Vice President, Col CC Nwachukwu and others. There were also roll call and Drill practice. Before they left, the newly exemplified Sir Knights showed their appreciation by generous donations of various sums of cash and pledges.